The Institute has successfully contributed towards the attainment of the University’s academic, research and technology transfer/community linkage pillars.
2.1. Academic programmes
2.1.1. M.Sc. Food Science and Technology:
In this programme, the students acquire an in depth knowledge of food biochemistry, chemistry, processing, nutrition, and microbiology through the offered core courses. In addition, each student takes sufficient advanced coursework in their area of emphasis to develop a specialized advanced knowledge base. The M.Sc. Food Science and Technology program trains students for employment opportunities in academic teaching and research; government research and regulatory activities; industrial research, development, processing, quality assurance; and in industrial or institutional management positions requiring a high level of scientific training. The curriculum for Ph.D degree in Food Science and Technology is currently at the final stages of review.
2.1.2. B.Sc. Food Science and Technology: This programme was launched to promote the appropriate technologies and value addition in food processing, which in turn enhance the quality and safety of food. The programme prepares students to apply the principles of science and engineering to ensure the quantity, quality, variety, attractiveness, and safety of foods. Food Science and Technology graduates are employed in the food industry in research and development, food process development, food safety, quality assurance, analytical sciences and managerial positions.
2.1.3. B.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics:
Adequate nutrition is important towards attainment of optimal physical, mental and cognitive development of the population of a country. Thus, Kenya’s renewed commitment to food security and nutrition is well articulated in the National Nutrition Action Plan, which provides practical guidance for various stakeholders on realization of optimal nutrition in the country. All the approaches are adequately covered under various course units offered in the B.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics programme. This programme aims to strengthen the capacity of nutritionists and dietitians in research, innovation and technology in order to provide optimal preventive and curative nutrition services within community and clinical settings towards attainment of the Vision 2030 and beyond socioeconomic goals. Nutrition and Dietetics graduates are employed in the hospitals, government and non-government organizations, community based organizations, public health research, International and local organizations, and community nutrition programmes.
2.1.4. Certificate/Diploma in Coffee Technology and Quality Management:
The Institute also offers courses in Coffee Technology and Quality Management at both Certificate and Diploma level and has graduated several students who have been absorbed into the coffee industry. The demand for coffee experts is increasing as the consumers become increasingly aware of coffee quality. DeKUT has taken the initiative as the pioneer institution in Kenya to train in Coffee Technology.
2.2. Research and innovation
IFBT offers outstanding educational and research opportunities for basic and advanced studies in the fields of Food Science and Technology, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Coffee Technology. The Institute has successfully promoted the culture of research and innovation among the staff and students. In the recent past, some academic staff and graduate students have won research grants from National Research Fund, and Coimbria Fellowship among other funding agencies. The Institute through the University has also established international collaboration with Technical University of Applied Science (TUAS), Germany, on Coffee Technology research. The Institute has also established collaboration with National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan with respect to staff and student exchange activities in the field of Food Toxicology. The Institute has also hosted several exchange international students from Germany, Scotland, Britain and other countries. This has greatly helped the students to interact and share ideas to promote education, culture and networking. The Institute also undertakes value addition by processing and packaging coffee and yoghurt. DeKUT is endowed with thousands to Arabica coffee bushes in the University farm. The DeKUT coffee premium brand is one of the highest quality coffee product in the market. The brand qualified for the ‘Coffee Kenya’ origin mark. The University has acquired a Coffee Grower and Marketer license. DeKUT is also a member of African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA).
2.3. Technology transfer and community linkage
The University through the Institute has collaborated with several stakeholders to support her training initiatives. For instance, Just Fair Organization in collaboration with Othaya Coffee Cooperative Society (Nyeri) has sponsored several students in the Certificate in Coffee technology and Quality Management programme. The Institute has also played an active role in Nyeri County through participation in the Coffee Sub sector Task Force and the Agricultural sector Development Support Program. The Institute also offers consultancy and short courses to coffee farmers within Nyeri County. DeKUT has a fully equipped modern coffee cupping laboratory that was developed through collaboration with African Wildlife Foundation, and Starbucks Ltd, a leading organization in speciality coffee. The Institute has two qualified cuppers who offer advisory services to farmers on coffee quality.